A Heart So White
Publication Date: March 26, 2013
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Winner of the IMPAC Dublin Award, and widely considered Javier Marías's masterpiece, A Heart So White is a breathtaking novel about family secrets that chronicles the relentless power of the past.
Juan knows little of the interior life of his father Ranz; but when Juan marries, he begins to consider the past anew, and begins to ponder what he doesn't really want to know. Secrecy--its possible convenience, its price, and even its civility--hovers throughout the novel. A Heart So White becomes a sort of anti-detective story of human nature. Intrigue; the sins of the father; the fraudulent and the genuine; marriage and strange repetitions of violence: Marías elegantly sends shafts of inquisitory light into shadows and onto the costs of ambivalence.
Javier Marías was born in Madrid in 1951. He has published ten novels, two collections of short stories and several volumes of essays. His work has been translated into thirty-two languages and won a dazzling array of international literary awards, including the prestigious Dublin IMPAC award for A Heart So White. He is also a highly practiced translator into Spanish of English authors, including Joseph Conrad, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Thomas Browne and Laurence Sterne. He has held academic posts in Spain, the United States and in Britain, as Lecturer in Spanish Literature at Oxford University.
"By far Spain's best writer today." --Roberto Bolaño
"Brilliant. . . . An entertaining and intelligent novel." --The Washington Post
"The most subtle and gifted writer in contemporary Spanish literature." --Boston Sunday Globe
"Marías is simply astonishing." --The Times Literary Supplement
“Marías is one of the best contemporary writers.” —J. M. Coetzee
"A great writer." --Salman Rushdie
"One of the writers who should get the Nobel Prize is Javier Marías." --Orhan Pamuk
"Stylish, cerebral...Marías is a startling talent...His prose is ambitious, ironic, philosophical, and ultimately compassionate." --The New York Times
“His prose demonstrates an unusual blend of sophistication and accessibility.” —The New Yorker
“Javier Marías is such an elegant, witty and persuasive writer that it is tempting simply to quote him at length.” —The Scotsman
"Marías uses language like an anatomist uses the scalpel to cut away the layers of the flesh in order to lay bare the innermost secrets of that strangest of species, the human being." --W. G. Sebald
"His prose possesses an exquisite, almost uncanny observation, recreating moments and moods in hypnotic depth." --The Telegraph
“Javier Marías is a novelist with style . . . His readers enter, through him, a strikingly and disturbingly foreign world.” —Margaret Drabble
"A supreme stylist." --The Times
"Marías writes the kind of old-fashioned speculative prose we associate with Proust and Henry James. . . . But he also deals in violence, historical and personal, and in the movie titles, politicians, and brand-names and underwear we connect with quite a different kind of writer." --The London Review of Books